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Blue Diffusion Sapphire?

Hi Folks,

I’ve seen the term ‘Blue Diffusion Sapphire’ used, and was
wondering what it is. Can anyone explain?


                              Skip Meister
                            NRA Endowment and

Skip From what I understand, iron and titanium are diffused into
the surface of cut stones with little or no color. This produces
a blue colored skin. I love sapphires, but someone else can have

Rick Hamilton
Richard D. Hamilton

Fabricated 14k, 18k, and platinum Jewelry
wax carving, modelmaking, jewelry photography

Blue diffusion sapphire, or titanium difused sapphire- they take
WHITE sapphires that are already faceted,(relatively cheap), and
bury them in powdered titanium. T. is the metal that makes the
blue in a sapphire. then they heat it to a certain temp, while
under pressure ( i think), and bingo- a half millimeter of the
surface is blue. They have to repolish the stone, it comes out
"bumpy". To distinguish these, you immerse them in one of the
refractive fluids that they use for gem id, and look at it under
strong light- the edges of the facets look different. Try the
GIA site for more info. Anne

A process for treating White Sapphire to Blue using high
temperature heat and pressure with variouis chemicals for a
flux.With this process the color “diffuses” into the stone.That
is,it penetrates from a fraction of a milimeter to 1-2 mm into
the surface of the cut Sapphire.It is stable and permenent,except
it is such a thin coating that a repolishing can remove it.They
also have this process to create Ruby. This year a new twist on
this process for stones other than Corrundum will hit the
market,probably in a very big way.Shhhhhhh.

                                           Mark Liccini 

Gemstone Rough Dealers since 1970 U.S.MAIL
E-Mail: @Mark_Liccini1 107 C.Columbus Dr.#1A Jersey City,N.J.07302
Voice Mail/Fax: 201-333-6332

Hi Skip,

Blue diffusion sapphires are white sapphires with synthetically
enhanced color. Not sure of the exact procedure, but it goes
something like this: The stones are placed in a chemical solution
then heated to very high temperature under pressure. This puts a
blue color into the stone. The blue diffusion sapphires are
something to be avoided at all costs. It is only a semi-permanent
treatment. The color only penetrates a small way into the stone.
Any scratches or recutting will take out the color. Worst of all,
heat will eliminate the color. This can be an expensive problem
for anybody doing jewelry repair. You can spot them by immersing
in a high refractive index liquid. Diffusion treated stones will
show a blue ring around the stone. If you ever get one, send it
back untouched. They are nothing but trouble!

Best Regards,
Bill Raby